The green building industry in its humble beginnings had a goal of reducing energy needs. It was a great start and as an industry set out to use what was available. In the 1970's we got ot our caulking guns and loaded up the truck with cases of silicone caulk in order to seal up our building from air infiltraitom. Soon to follow were new products coming to the market to accomplish this mission.I Contractors began to install fiberglass batts into the framing in the walls. The contractors of this day did not like the fiberglass, it was itchy and hard to cut. So they left out areas like above headers and in small spaces. Then came house wrap where we stapled a membrane on the exterior boarding of the house. Success, right? Well not so fast. After we sealed up our homes we then had problems with moisture in the homes from our breath, cooking, showers and baths,. If water was able to penetrate the exterior of our house we had mold and rotting in the walls as well.
This is when the term "building science" was termed. A whole new industry to try and figure out why these buildings were failing. Then came more and more toxic products to work to solve the very problems we had created. For awhile, we had what was known as "sick buildings". This was a term for the off-gassing of these chemicals. The answer, more chemicals to mask the others so they didn't off-gas.
This article describes a better way: "The project aims to design an urban system which integrates decentralised food, water and energy flows in order to create a nearly fully self-sufficient neighbourhood.
It works based on the principle of “circularity”—recycling water, materials, and waste as much as possible within the system."
“Our current simulations show it should be possible to become 100 percent power, heat and water, and 50% food self-sufficient,” de Graaf said. “Living in a Smarthood will instantly reduce one’s ecological footprint by near 40 percent. We envision it as the circular, resilient neighborhood of the future, that solves many of the 21st century’s greatest challenges.”
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